Thursday, December 04, 2008

Short Thoughts, Short?Bread

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A long day today that started at about 4 AM and is drawing to a forced close. My shoulder blades feel like there's something large on them, partly I think because as I was coming up the steps tonight, the recent corn snow had slicked things up. I instantly found that I am not good at splits with armfuls of groceries. No dozen eggs tonight, so other than my aches.... nothing broken.... all is well.

See if you can visualize this non-garden encounter I had when I returned home. I made it up the steps with pieces of brown paper bag in one hand and an unscathed bag of groceries in the other. All the way home I was listening to a news program which was detailing how bad the drug scene is in Vermont, Oxy this and Percocet that. So I opened the door and there in front of me, passing a bottle of vanilla back and forth between them, are Gail and Alex. I asked the obvious "What is this all about?" to which I received a non answer and heard another "That is so nice." Great, now I have to add vanilla sniffers to my list of life burdens.

As I pushed the groceries onto the counter, Gail said that she and Alex were preparing to make shortbread and they just got to the vanilla part. Remember now that we are home schoolers at our house and Alex has some quirky Aspergers traits but cooking is a favorite pursuit he enjoys and we do too. I had forgotten that I had asked Gail about shortbread after reading a couple weeks back that Ann Zuccardy of the Vermont Shortbread Company (has a blog too) was thinking about selling twelve years of work. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to buy a shortbread company (and Ann's is a great one!!) but I did want to see how the recipe from the cookbook King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion turned out. This is a great cookbook by theKing Arthur Flour folks from Norwich, Vermont, a place that should be on everyones "Go Visit" List.

So-o-o-o-o as I recovered from the case of the fallen groceries, Alex and Gail proceeded with the recipe and in time the shortbread was in the oven and Karl the Wonder Dog and I were thinking about sharing some. As we waited, I looked over the recipe again. Although I have eaten shortbread in various shapes, it is traditionally round and that's how the cookbook directs you.

In time the baking was done and Alex flipped the bread out on the board. The fork print design for some reason wasn't deep enough to show through nicely but for a first attempt at an untried recipe, it was great. The recipe makes two pans and one was gone before I could get a picture of the other. I recommend the cookbook, the store in Norwich and Vermont Shortbread Company.
Try them all!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the temperature is 29, snow is falling and the wind is howling as the front moves along. If you like history, try Wikipedia for King Arthur Flour and trace K.A.F. from 1790 in Boston to where it is today. Nice story, good company.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm


Scott said...

It's funny to me that you had such success with the shortbread recipe from King Arthur as it is the only thing my family has ever had good success with from their line of cookbooks. It has been so disheartening that my wife just listed ours on Paperbackswap this morning.

George Africa said...

Hi Scott;

Sorry you didn't do well with other recipes. You might let them know at King Arthur because they are a company founded on customer satisfaction.